On Monday, Australian police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, where an Islamist terrorist named Man Haron Monis had taken dozens of hostages and held them for 17 hours. Three people were killed, including Monis, and several others were wounded. Monis, an Iranian immigrant, had a long criminal record, including 40 charges for indecent and sexual assault, as well as an outstanding charge for accessory to murder in the killing of his ex-wife. Before his death, Monis requested an ISIS flag, and forced hostages to hold up the so-called Shahada flag, which proclaims in Arabic, "There Is No God But Allah, and Muhammad Is His Messenger."
In response to this Islamist terror attack on a civilian hub in the center of their city, Australians all over the country took action: They tweeted with the hashtag #illridewithyou. This hashtag came from the mind of one Rachel Jacobs, who witnessed a Muslim woman removing her hijab on the local train after the news of the hostage situation broke. Jacobs tweeted, "I ran after her at the train station. I said 'put it back on. I'll walk with u'. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute -- then walked off alone." Soon, the hashtag had been launched, and quickly trended globally.